Some Views of the Time Problem

9780217995238: Some Views of the Time Problem

This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1916. Excerpt: ... a pioneer in evolution theory. His vision was not limited to the scholastic cosmology that embraced something over six thousand years. Long before Laplace, Kant caught sight of the endless stellar past, and saw the solar system develop from a swirl of nebulae. Kant then, at any rate, did not regard a cosmic evolution as at all inconsistent with his epistemological theory that time is a product of the synthetic unity of apperception. And with this the question at once presents itself, How are we to look upon this implied division of labor between science and philosophy, when they come so near dealing with the same problem? The effort to distinguish clearly between the philosophical and the scientific problem, and to understand the relation between the two, is a strictly modern product. The earlier Greeks thought nothing of having a cosmological theory that was in flat contradiction to their metaphysis. The former was "opinion"; it was inductive, realistic, concrete, sensory: the latter was "truth"; it was deductive, rational. The cosmology could be understood by anybody; the real truth only by the initiated. Even Parmenides had highly complex teachings as to the movements of the heavenly bodies; on the other hand he was perfectly certain from a "rational" standpoint that motion was quite impossible. And if many people even today seem to have analogous water-tight compartments in their minds, we shall probably have to admit that it is a more sophisticated distinction, not a naive one. But we have not yet told the whole story. Not only did the ancient and medieval thinkers entertain at the same time a priori "truth" and scientific "opinion," but they complicated matters generally by the introduction of an a priori science which therefore occupied a sort of i...

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